Kevin Sass, Winemaker

A Southern California native, Winemaker Kevin Sass grew up in Agoura Hills graduating from California State University (Fresno) with a double major in Enology Wine Production and Agricultural Business.

Kevin has been making wine from the grapes at Halter Ranch Vineyard for 17 harvests. After 11 years at Justin Winery, which purchased grapes from the Halter Ranch Estate, he became Winemaker at Halter Ranch in 2011. A new state-of-the-art gravity flow winery and an estate wine-growing program has allowed Sass to showcase the 13 grape varieties planted on the 281-acre west side vineyard. Kevin lives in Templeton with his wife and sons.

“It’s every winemakers dream to have 281-acres of sustainably farmed vineyard at your fingertips. The natural resources here at Halter Ranch are the best I have ever worked with.”

Molly Lonborg, Assistant Winemaker

Molly joined the Halter Ranch team in June of 2011. Originally hired as Lab Manager and Cellar Assistant, she was quickly promoted to Enologist and in January 2014, Molly was named Assistant Winemaker.

A graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Molly majored in Earth Sciences with a concentration in Wine and Viticulture. She has traveled extensively, and studied geology at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Molly worked her first harvest in the lab at Orcutt Road Cellars in San Luis Obispo and gained additional cellar experience working at Justin Winery with Winemaker Kevin Sass. Molly lives on the Halter Ranch property with her husband. She enjoys gardening, hiking, traveling and live music.

“Coming to Halter Ranch was like a dream come true. The unique property, state-of-the-art winery and diverse vineyard provide us with fantastic resources – everything we need to make great wine.”

Lucas Pope, Vineyard Manager

Lucas Pope joined Halter Ranch in 2012. Born in California, he was raised in Germany and Japan before returning to study viticulture at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Lucas graduated in the first class of viticulture majors in 2006.

He has worked harvests in Coonawarra, South Australia, and South Africa, and owned a business managing vineyards in the Silicon Valley. Lucas managed the vineyards at Stolo Family Vineyards in Cambria for two years before moving to Halter Ranch. Lucas lives in Atascadero with his wife Nicole and two young children.

“Our focus at Halter Ranch is on a 100-percent estate grape-growing program. We aim to improve the quality of the grapes coming off the ranch every year. Another is the continuation of the SIP (Sustainability In Practice) program to provide a legacy for future generations.”

Skylar Stuck, General Manager

Skylar has 26 years of experience in the wine industry, including work as a distributor salesman in New York City for Winebow Distributing, as a Regional Manager for Clicquot Inc. in Texas, and as the V.P. / Director of Sales for Hope Family Wines in Paso Robles. He has spent the last six years as General Manager here at Halter Ranch Vineyards.

Born in Portland, Skylar has lived in numerous places the past three decades including France, Italy, Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Luis Obispo. He holds an MA in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Following a career as an economist, Skylar traded his vocation for his avocation and launched his career in the wine industry. He eventually set roots in Atascadero, CA where he currently lives with his wife, Erin, and their dog, Lucy. They enjoy gardening, cooking and traveling.

Skylar is on the Executive Board for the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo, is the sitting President of the Executive Board of Must! Charities in Templeton and a member of the Trade Marketing Committee of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.

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